Student-faculty research thriving in 2017

Sociologist Kelly Austin has published new research with some of her current and former students. Her collaborations with both undergraduate and graduate students, inside and outside the Sociology program, have resulted in three scholarly journal articles so far this year:
  • "Trading sex for security: Unemployment and the unequal HIV burden among young women in developing nations" in International Sociology, co-authored with Michelle M. Choi and Virginia Berndt
  • "Anthropogenic forest loss and malaria prevalence: a comparative examination of the causes and disease consequences of deforestation in developing nations" in AIMS Environmental Science, co-authored with Megan O. Bellinger and Priyokti Rana
  • "Indoor Air Pollution as a Silent Killer" in Population and Environment, co-authored with Maria Theresa Mejia
Co-author Michelle Choi (BA Sociology, 2015) is now a Research Assistant at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, while Virginia Berndt (MA Sociology, 2016) is working on a PhD at the University of Delware. Megan Bellinger and Priyokti Rana are both current juniors in Lehigh's Integrated Engineering, Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) program. Maria Theresa Mejia (BA Sociology, 2014) completed her masters in the department in 2015. All of them began assisting Dr. Austin with her research after being enrolled in her classes in recent years.
Austin says, "I greatly enjoy publishing with students! It gives them a great opportunity to develop real research skills, as well as being exposed to and taking part in the academic publishing process."
She benefits as well from these collaborations. "Students sometimes develop meaningful examples or insights that I would have not thought of on my own," she says. "Or sometimes, they are able to find prior published works relevant to the study we're working on using different outlets or databases than I would have used. Additionally, publishing with students allows me to get to know them better and often leads to friendships or collaborations that are sustained well into the future. They help to keep me engaged with the research or generate ideas that lead to new lines of inquiry."
Dr. Austin began publishing research with students in 2014 with an article in the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Last year articles stemming from her collaborative work with various students also appeared in the World Journal of Social Science Research and in World Development.